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1998 Dodge B3500

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1998 Dodge B3500 Review

A strong seller and competitor despite some issues.

Reviewed by Automotive on

Overview

The 1998 Dodge B3500 is part of the B-Series, which serves as Chrysler’s lineup of full-size vans manufactured by the Dodge division. The van sold as the B-Series from its introduction in 1971 to 1981, when the name of its cargo version changed to the Dodge Ram Van and that of the passenger version changed to the Dodge Ram Wagon.

The Range

Body Styles: two-door van, passenger van
Engines: 3.9-liter V-6, 5.2-liter V-8, 5.9-liter V-8
Transmissions: three-speed automatic, four-speed automatic
Models: Dodge B3500, Dodge B3500 Maxi

What's New

Changes to the 1998 Dodge B3500 include the addition of dual airbags, a revised dash, and some visible upgrades in the sound system, front doors, and brakes of the van. Most notably, the V-8 engines have been shifted forward in order to reduce the size of the ?doghouse.?

Exterior

The 1998 Dodge B3500 may be a third-generation van, but the truth is that the exterior of the van has gone through such minuscule changes over the course of more than two decades that the current model still looks a lot like the first 1971 B-Series van.

The wheelbase of a regular 1998 Dodge B3500 measures 127.6 inches, and the van’s overall length totals around 205.2 inches. The B3500 Maxi has a length of 231.2, inches, but it retains the same wheelbase. Both models of the B3500 remain a little less than 80 inches tall and come fitted with a single rear door on the right-hand side or twin doors at the rear. Single and dual sliding doors also remain available as an option.

Interior

The newly designed dash of the B3500 looks pleasing to the eyes and houses a simple and functional layout of controls. The controls for the stereo sit conveniently above those of the climate control, and they seem clearly marked so that the driver and passenger can easily understand, reach forward, and operate them.

A special mention should be made of the three-knob climate control panel used in the 1998 Dodge B3500 and many other Dodge cars. The system feels very intuitive and easy to use. The front bucket seats feel reasonably comfortable and supportive, but the front wheel-wells take away a huge amount of leg space from the cabin, making it difficult for the driver to stretch out every now and then from the awkward, bus-like, driver’s position.

The rear of the cargo version of the 1998 Dodge B3500 offers a good 247 cubic feet of space, and the Maxi model has a maximum of 304 cubic feet of space. The payload capacity of the van, with the right utilities, goes up to 9200 pounds. The passenger version of the 1998 Dodge B3500 can be fitted with different arrangements of passenger seats. However, even with the maximum passenger capacity of 12 people, all the seats offer a decent amount of space for the average adult.

Performance & Handling

The 1998 Dodge B3500 uses a base 3.9-liter V-6 that delivers 175 horsepower. The Maxi contains a 5.2-liter V-8 that delivers 230 horsepower. An optional 5.9-liter V-8 remains available as well, delivering 245 horsepower.

The V-6 engine, with its three-speed automatic transmission, does not offer much power for the one-ton B3500 van even with a moderate load or number of passengers. The V-8 engines offer enough torque to haul all the 3500 can carry, but one must not expect the van to become a blazing fast rocket when driven with a light load.

Safety

Dual airbags come standard in the 1998 Dodge B3500, along with anti-lock brakes (rear-wheel for the cargo vans and four-wheel for the passenger vans).

EPA Fuel Economy

Dodge B3500: 11/15 mpg city/highway

You'll Like

  • Good value
  • Different engine options
  • Capable V-8 engines
  • Two different body sizes

You Won't Like

  • Old design
  • Poor visibility
  • Underpowered V-6 engine

Sum Up

A strong seller and competitor despite some issues.

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